Sony DVD copy protection prevents replay in some Sony DVD players…

Sony just can’t seem to stop screwing their customers with various forms of DRM.  First there was the Sony CD rootkit debacle (insert a Sony CD into your PC and get hacked by the best!)  Now it appears that several of their latest DVD releases, including Stranger than Fiction and Casino Royal, won’t work on some consumer DVD players.

The problem is related to the the copy protection scheme used on the disks, apparently something called ARccOS.  The impacted DVD players include several Sony models, and at least one Sony customer service rep responded to complaints by saying this was “working as designed” and that it was up to the consumer to get a new DVD player.

The following quote comes from a support thread on for people owning the Sony DVPCX995 400 disc DVD mega changer (which is apparently impacted by the copy protection problem):

I have had the same problems as you guys are describing. I can’t play:
Stranger Than Fiction
The Persuit of Happyness
The holiday
Open Season
They all just lock up the player, and when i try them on a second player in my house they lock that one up two. I have tried up to three different copies of some of these movies to no avail. It’s obviously the player that does’nt like the disk because all my other movies play fine.

Well done, Sony!  I have several thousand dollars of Sony gear (A/V amp, DVD player, cassette deck, CD player) that I bought a decade or so ago, in the days when a CD player was still a big purchase.  Sony was a good brand a decade or so ago: reliable if not particularly fancy.  It is nearing time for some upgrades.  I’m pretty certain that I won’t be buying anything from Sony the next time.

UPDATE:  Sony has apparently decided to release updated versions of the problem DVD’s that corrects the copy protection problem.  They are offering free replacements to anyone impacted by the issue.  Hurray for Sony!

[tags]dvd, drm, sony, rootkit, movies, mpaa jackasses[/tags]

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